University of Michigan BA, MA, PhD, 1972, History (South Asia specialty),
Fellowships and Awards
Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1967)
Fulbright Hayes Language Fellowship (1968-1969)
Fulbright Fellowship-HEW (1969-1970) (India)
American Institute of Indian Studies, Senior Fellowship
Social Science Research Council, Research Grant (1977) (England)
Social Science Research Council, Research Grant (1980) (England)
American Institute of Indian Studies, Senior Fellowship (1990). (India)
Earhart Foundation Writing Fellowship (2011)
American Geographical Society Research Fellowship (2011)
NEH selected my book “When Asia was the World” as one of only 5 histories to be
granted to 856 libraries across the United in an initiative entitled Muslim Journeys
Fulbright Fellowship (Research and Teaching) 2014-15. Special lectures at Pune University and many
colleges and universities in Maharashtra, India. Research on urbanization and monetization of 18th
century Central India.
Teaching (University of Michigan)
Survey – South Asia to 1500
Survey – South Asia 1500-present
The Construction of Colonial India
Mughal and Maratha India
Twentieth Century India
American Popular History
Gandhi and His World
Worldwide Strategies of Non-violence
Selection of Invited Lectures 2010 – 2015
Includes Columbia, Harvard, University of Texas – Austin, Berkeley, University of California – Irvine, Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Asia Society, Midwest Institute, University of Michigan, University of Pune, University of Pennsylvania, Nanking University (Singapore). Symbiosis College (Pune, India), Bharat Itihas Samshodak Mandal (Pune,India), Eastern Michigan University, Seattle Art Museum., Midwest Institute, University of Texas – Austin.
Consulting on the Presentation of History
The History Channel (three series), The Delta Queen Steamboat Company (three boats), The Independence (a classic ocean liner), The Walt Disney Company (three projects), the Mark Hopkins Hotel (San Francisco).
I served as the traveling expert on University of Michigan Alumni tours to Vietnam and India.
Senior Research Scholar, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan.
The Marathas: 1600-1818, volume II-4 of the New Cambridge History of
India (Cambridge, 1993). Paperback reprint, 2001.
Marathas, Marauders, and State-Formation in Eighteenth Century
India (Oxford, 1994). Paperback reprint, 1997.
Robes and Honor: The Medieval World of Investiture (Palgrave Press, 2001). This
volume explores the trans-cultural, trans-religious use of luxury robes as a
means of building loyalty in many Asian medieval kingdoms.
Robes of Honour: Khil’at in Pre-Colonial and Colonial India (Oxford University
Press, 2002). Specific case studies of the use of robing and its ambiguities in the
Indian setting. The volume also includes a long theoretical chapter on robing both
inside and at the margins of the medieval Islamic world.
When Asia Was the World (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, January, 2008) Uses
networks across Asia and travel accounts to examine the period 500-1500 AD.
The book is in wide use in teaching Asian and World history and has been
translated into Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian and Arabic. It was recently
selected by NEH as one of 25 books to form a “bookshelf” on Islam
awarded to more than 850successful applicant public and community college
libraries across the country.
Shackles of Iron: Slavery in World History (forthcoming, Hackett, winter, 2015)
Uses comparative analysis of four cases to examine systems and processes of
A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks (Forthcoming, University Press of New England, May, 2015)
Popular Books and Articles
Sunlight and Steel: The Story of the S.S. Constitution and the S.S. Independence (Prow Press, 1994)
“Suitable Luxury”, Aramco World, Vol. 59, No. 5 (Sept./Oct., 2008) 18-24. On robes of honor.
“ The Game of Kings”, Aramco World. Vol. 60, No. 4 (July/August, 2009). 18-24. The history of chess across Eurasia.
“ In the shade of the royal umbrella”, Aramco World (July, 2011). A kingly symbol from ancient Egypt and ancient China to modern-day Thailand and Africa.
“ To Balance the Humors: History and Practice of Unani Medicine” Aramco World, fall, 2014).
I am a founding author of the first database that GIS locates ancient Buddhist monasteries (1CE to 1200 CE) across the whole of Asia. This database includes over 1000 monasteries and has had contributions from a number of scholars. It is located at monastic-asia.wikidot.com
Social disruption and social order
"Scarf and Sword: Thugs, Marauders, and State Formation in Eighteenth
Century Malwa", Indian Economic and Social History Review, VI, 4
(Dec., 1969), 403-429.
"The Slow Conquest: Administrative Integration of Malwa into the Maratha
Empire", Modern Asian Studies, 9, 1 (1977), 1-40.
"Recovery from Adversity in Eighteenth Century India: Re-thinking Villages,
Peasants, and Politics in Pre-Modern Kingdoms", Journal of Peasant Studies,
7, 4 (Fall, 1979), 61-80.
“Revenue System of the Marathas under Nana Phadnis” in A.R. Kulkarni,
M.A. Nayeem, T.R.de Souza ed., Medieval Deccan History: Commemoration
Volume in Honor of P.M. Joshi (Bombay, 1996), 190 - 210.
"Legitimacy and Loyalty in Some Successor States of the Eighteenth Century",
in J. F, Richards (ed.) Kingship and Authority in South Asia, Publication Series
3, (Madison: South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1978),
286 - 303.
"Robes of honor: A 'transactional' kingly ceremony", Indian Economic and
Social History Review, 33, 3 (Fall, 1996), 227- 242. Reprinted in Meena Bhargava (ed.),
Exploring Medieval India: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries (Hyderabad: Orient Black
"Forts and Social Control in the Maratha State", Modern Asian Studies, 12,
1 (1979), 1 - 17.
“The Limited Adoption of European-style military forces by eighteenth century
rulers in India”, Indian Economic and Social History Review, 35, 3 (1998) 229 -
"Symbolic and Structural Constraints on the Adoption of European-
Style Military Technologies in the Eighteenth Century" in Richard B. Barnett, ed.,
Rethinking Early Modern India (New Delhi: Manohar, 2002) 155-178.
Construction of castes, tribes, and communities
"Bhils and the Idea of a Criminal Tribe in Nineteenth Century India", Crime
and Criminality in British India, Anand A. Yang (ed.), Association for Asian
Studies Monograph 42 (1985), 140-161.
"Kinship and Pargana in Eighteenth Century Khandesh", Indian Economic
and Social History Review, 12, 4 (1985), 371-397. (with John Richards),
reprinted in P.J. Marshall, The Eighteenth Century in Indian History: Evolution
or Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2003).
“Hindu, Muslim and the ‘Other’ in Eighteenth Century India”, in Sushil Mithal,
Surprising Bedfellows: Hindus and Muslims in Early Modern India (Lanham:
Lexington Books, 2003), 11-30.
“Maratha Patronage of Muslim Religious Institutions" David Gilmartin, ed.,
Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia
(University of Florida, 2001), 327-338.
“ Epistemologies Concerning the Past in Maharshtra” D. N. Jha and Eugenia
Vanina (eds.) in Mind over Matter: Essays on Mentalities in Medieval India
(Delhi: Tulika Publishers, 2009), 57-70.
"Burhanpur: Entrepot and Hinterland: 1650-1750", Indian Economic and
Social History Review, Special Issue, (Jan., 1989). Reprinted in Sanjay
Subramanian (ed.), Merchants and the State in Early Modern India, (Oxford
University Press: Bombay, 1990).
“A Tale of Three Cities: Burhanpur from 1400 to 1800, in Kenneth Hall ed. Small
Cities in the Asian Context (Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008)
"War, the Military, and the Environment: Central India, 1560 – 1820” in Richard P.
Tucker and Edmund Russell (eds.) Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an
Environmental History of War (Oregon State Press, 2004) 42-64.
“Major Rivers of the Plateau of Tibet”, Education about Asia (January, 2011).
History of Medicine
"Unani Medicine: Princely States and Imperial Ideology" in (eds. Dr. Jalindar Bhonsale,
Dr.Monika Vaidya, Dr. Amal Vidyasagar) Colonial Ideology and Princely States in India (Pune: MES's Abasaheb Gareware College, 2015) 9-19.